Former investment bank boss Eilidh Mactaggart breaks silence on shock resignation

THE OUTGOING chief executive of the Scottish National Investment Bank has broken her silence on why she quit the publicly-owned bank – pointing to “personal reasons”.

Mystery has surrounded Eilidh Mactaggart’s shock decision to quit the bank last Friday, which is comprehensively owned by the Scottish Government are will potentially spend up to £2 billion of public money, with a focus on net zero projects.

Yesterday, Nicola Sturgeon refused to explain the reasons behind the resignation, pointing to confidentiality.

The allegations of secrecy had led to the Scottish Conservatives calling on Holyrood’s Finance Committee to invite the chairman of the bank, Willie Watt, to appear before MSPs to set out the situation.

But Ms Mactaggart has now broken her silence on the reasons behind her quitting the £235,000-a-year job.

In a statement, she said: “My decision to resign from my position as chief executive of the Scottish National Investment Bank was a difficult decision to make, but ultimately it was made for personal reasons.

“I am extremely proud of everything I achieved while I was the bank’s chief executive, including: launching a bank in the midst of a global pandemic while working remotely; setting its investment strategy; and, establishing its investment portfolio.

“I am of course, most proud of the incredible team of talented individuals that the Bank now has in place, all bound by a common purpose to deliver investment to businesses and projects connected to Scotland to support the Bank’s missions.

“It was a privilege to be given the challenge of launching the Scottish National Investment Bank and being its inaugural chief executive and I wish the team I have built all the best for the future. I am considering a number of opportunities and looking forward to spending some more time with my young family in the meantime.”

Speaking at First Minister’s Questions yesterday, Ms Sturgeon refused to say what she knew about Ms Mactaggart’s departure.

She said: “I am not going to go into the confidential details of anybody’s employment situation in the chamber.

“That issue is not a matter for Scottish Government ministers; it is a matter for the board of the Scottish National Investment Bank.

“Ministers had no input into it, although we were told earlier in February that the chief executive would be leaving the bank imminently.

“Scottish Government ministers have the responsibility to ensure that the Scottish National Investment Bank is performing well.

“It is performing exceptionally well, and it is perhaps the most important economic initiative that has been taken over the past few years in Scotland.”

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said the timing of the resignation was “all very suspicious” and asked if it was connected to the Scottish Government launching its 10-year economic strategy this week and the chief executive being unwilling to deliver it.

Ms Sturgeon said Ms Mactaggart’s exit was an unrelated “coincidence”.

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